LONDON — The UK government has confirmed its support of the appropriate use of animal experimentation for medical research, with a speech made recently by the health minister.

The health minister Lord Philip Hunt set out in full, for the first time, the UK government's policy on the use of animals in medical research. He was speaking to the Association of Medical Research Charities — an umbrella organization for a wide range of health research organizations — at a meeting last week. He outlined why he considered that continued use of animals in research was essential: "We are still a long way from understanding fully how humans stay healthy and get diseases. Sometimes, the only way to learn more is to study living animals."

Research using animals has contributed to almost every single one of the major medical advances of the last century, Lord Hunt suggested. These included the development...

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